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Cruz, Ramos, Cahill, and Soria

Minnesota Twins Talk Today, 08:58 PM
I guess the Twins are trying damage control after upsetting their fan-base     https://www.mlbtrade...vor-cahill.html
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LEN3 Throws Cold Water on Hot Stove

Minnesota Twins Talk Today, 09:06 PM
http://m.startribune...ings/502283381/ Don't get your hopes up. The Twins, according to LEN3, aren't going to do much at the winter meeti...
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Article: Twins Sign Infielder Ronald Torreyes

Minnesota Twins Talk Today, 08:36 PM
The Minnesota Twins announced the signing of infielder Ronald Torreyes to a Major League contract. Jon Heyman has reported that the deal...
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Harold Baines and Lee Smith are Hall of Famers

Other Baseball Today, 09:01 PM
MLB announced tonight that a 16-person committee decided that DH Harold Baines and RP Lee Smith are now Hall of Famers.   Here is th...
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Article: Standing Pat as a Strategy

Minnesota Twins Talk Today, 09:01 PM
'As we speak cruel time is fleeing. Seize the day, believing as little as possible in the morrow.' – HoraceBy all appearances, this is go...
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Logan Morrison: Bad or Just Bad Luck?

The start of Logan Morrison’s tenure with the Minnesota Twins has been, how can I put this delicately, worse than Byron Buxton’s start last season. Through his first 26 plate appearances, Morrison has a .043/.154/.087 slash line, and a -30 wRC+. This is not exactly what the Twins had in mind when they signed Morrison to be their full-time designated hitter.
Image courtesy of Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports
Fortunately for the Twins, 26 plate appearances is a pretty small sample, and unless Morrison completely forgot how to play baseball, he will turn it around. Even before Morrison’s breakout season last year he had a career OPS+ of 104, so it’s not like 2017 was a one-hit-wonder.

As is often the question with extreme performances over a small sample, has this performance been based on the player’s skill during that time, or has it been propped up/dragged down by luck? Fortunately, with the evolution of Statcast, along with other metrics, whe can make more reasoned assumptions about a player’s performance than we would have been able to in the past. So, let’s dive into the numbers and see if there is anything definitive that we conclude about Morrison’s performance.

Plate Discipline
If a hitter is in the middle of a slump, it is often due to having poor plate discipline during the slump. This makes it a great starting point to see if a hitter is playing poorly because of outside factors, or if he is simply taking a poor approach at the plate.

Looking at Morrison’s strikeout and walk rates, neither sticks out as anything too far off from where he sits normally. Morrison currently has a 23.1% strikeout rate, which is right in between the 22.4% and 24.8% he averaged in 2016 and 2017 respectively. Additionally, his walk rate is at 7.7%, which isn’t too far off his 10.5% career average.

While Morrison’s strikeout and walk numbers don’t look that bad, his swing rate tells a different story. So far this season, Morrison has an O-Swing rate of 35%, which is a full 8% higher than his career average. His overall swing rate is also up by 11.1% on his career average. To me this is a sign of a hitter who is pressing to make an instant impact on his new team. This is hurting Morrison as he is usually falling behind in the count, and not getting many good pitches to swing at.

Morrison’s BABIP
To start the season, Morrison has put 17 balls into play with just one of those balls falling for a hit, resulting in a .059 BABIP. While it might be easy to jump to conclusions that this low number is based mostly on luck, that does not appear to be the case. According to Statcast, Morrison’s deserved BABIP is just .179.

This number is a little bit higher than his actual BABIP, and suggests Morrison has been a little bit unlucky, but the entire difference can’t simply be written off as luck. For starters, the Statcast numbers do not control for the batted balls that are hit into a shift, thus decreasing the chances that they will become a hit relatively speaking. Unfortunately for Morrison, the book seems to be out on where to play defensively against him. Just look at how the Astros lined up against him with nobody on base Monday night.

In all, Morrison’s low BABIP can partially be written off as bad luck, but it is mostly a result of Morrison making poor contact and paying the price for being an extreme pull hitter.

wOBA vs xwOBA
Comparing Logan Morrison’s wOBA and xwOBA (expected weighted on-base average) works in much the same way as comparing Morrison’s BABIP with his deserved BABIP, in that wOBA is a results-based statistic and xwOBA is a Statcast generated statistic. However, using wOBA gives us a better all-around picture of how Morrison has been hitting.

Thus far Logan Morrison’s wOBA sits at just .131 (league average is usually around .330). This is the fourth lowest number by any hitter with at least 20 plate appearances so far this season. By comparison, Morrison’s xwOBA sits at .166, which is the third worst mark of any hitter with at least 20 at-bats this season. So it is safe to say that Morrison has been performing about exactly as poorly as his Statcast data says he should be.

Conclusion
After digging through the data, it is quite apparent that Morrison’s slow start is almost entirely a result of bad hitting by Logan. If Morrison wants to turn it around he will need to bring a more patient approach to the plate. Much like it was for Eddie Rosario last season, Logan Morrison’s O-Swing% might be the key stat to follow for him as the season goes on.


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47 Comments

A guy who is in a slump and has a .043 average can push a bunt down the left side and walk to 1b? You take the single a few times and teams stop doing it. How stupid can these guys be?
    • Blake, Jerr, nicksaviking and 18 others like this

8 games andnothing. Another Twins signing a bust free agent. Maybe when his body warms up, the eyes and the bat will.

    • bighat likes this
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clutterheart
Apr 11 2018 03:55 AM
Too soon. At this point no stat has any significance. It's cold, he is the primary DH for the first time in his career and its early.

Give it a few weeks.
    • Twins33, Oldgoat_MN, gagu and 1 other like this
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Tommygun921
Apr 11 2018 05:52 AM
Trying to hard to make a good first impression and shifting defense. He actually looks a bit lost at the plate.
    • bighat likes this
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Old Twins Cap
Apr 11 2018 06:27 AM

Tempest in a tea pot.

 

All that matters is the next AB.

 

Win a game for us and this all goes away.

 

But, do it soon.

    • Doctor Wu likes this
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terrydactyls1947
Apr 11 2018 07:00 AM
With the shift shown in the article, Morrison should be bunting for doubles. I agree with high heat. Keep bunting until the shift goes away.

It is too early to worry - he has a track record, after all. But I do wish some of our lefties would bunt against a shift. I know Rosario has done that at least once. But when they're giving you the entire left side of the infield ...

    • Twins33, Danchat, spanman2 and 1 other like this
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Halsey Hall
Apr 11 2018 07:08 AM

LoMo had a lot of luck in spring training.Quite a few bloopers that fell in.I was worried about him then. 

First time I saw him at bat in spring training and saw all 4 infielders on the right side of the field, I thought to myself, Oh, Oh.... this can't be good.  

He should bunt a few times when they give him half the field...

I'd be pretty hesitant to read into 26 PAs too much. For what it's worth, he hit the ball 110mph twice last night. I'm not too worried. If his average is still sub-.100 two weeks from now we can start wringing our hands a bit.

    • Oldgoat_MN and SF Twins Fan like this

WAY too soon.If he has 9 games like this in July and the team goes 5-4 we aren't even having this conversation.We'd call it a little slump and move on.I do agree with idea of pushing a bunt here and there.Why is it major leaguers can't bunt?I coach middle school kids who can!

    • Doctor Wu likes this

 

Trying to hard to make a good first impression and shifting defense. He actually looks a bit lost at the plate.

Pressing, I agree.Seems like he's fouling a lot of balls off.Lost?Sano looks lost.

 

WAY too soon.If he has 9 games like this in July and the team goes 5-4 we aren't even having this conversation.We'd call it a little slump and move on.I do agree with idea of pushing a bunt here and there.Why is it major leaguers can't bunt?I coach middle school kids who can!

Unwritten rules?

    • Doctor Wu likes this
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nicksaviking
Apr 11 2018 08:28 AM

On the broadcast the other night Dick or Bert mentioned that one of them talked with him about dropping a bunt against the shift. The gist of Morrison's reply was that he was proud that they thought enough to shift on him; the reported reply sounded like a man too proud to bunt.

 

So it should be on Molitor to tell him it's not an option. Or on the front office to tell Molitor that it's not an option.

Neither bad nor bad luck. Just plain stupid. Take what your given.

The whole "just bunt against the shift" thing seems to be so obvious to so many people, but yet no one hardly ever does it.Is there something that we fans just don't see or get that players, coaches, and front offices do?As others have said, even if you're "too proud" to bunt, it would only take a handful of times doing it, to show you're willing to do it, for teams to stop shifting on you.You can then go back to pulling the ball through your normal side.What am I missing?

    • nicksaviking, Oldgoat_MN and Doctor Wu like this

Eight games :) Give it eighty and then we can start formulating hypotheses.Sub "Buxton" (who has not been that much better with the stick) for "Morrison" on your title, and 3/4 of the Twins Territory will cry in protest ;)

 

Regarding this:

 

 

 

To start the season, Morrison has put 17 balls into play with just one of those balls falling for a hit, resulting in a .059 BABIP. While it might be easy to jump to conclusions that this low number is based mostly on luck, that does not appear to be the case.

 

You can quantify that. His BABIP is 0.100 today and his average BABIP 0.271 (and last season .268; BABIP has nothing to do with HRs).Assuming that he will continue to be the hitter he was, adding that .171 to his BA and OBP, he's got.245 BA and .338 OBP.I could live with that. And, again, if he starts hitting HRs in his regular clip, those will also increase and BABIP does not reflect this

 

Game temperature is a huge thing and it has been pretty nasty.And that really effects hitting.Give it till June, before start thinking about his performance ;)

    • LaBombo, kab21 and gagu like this
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Brock Beauchamp
Apr 11 2018 09:34 AM

Eight games :) Give it eighty and then we can start formulating hypotheses. Sub "Buxton" (who has not been that much better with the stick) for "Morrison" on your title, and 3/4 of the Twins Territory will cry in protest ;)

Regarding this:




You can quantify that. His BABIP is 0.100 today and his average BABIP 0.271 (and last season .268; BABIP has nothing to do with HRs). Assuming that he will continue to be the hitter he was, adding that .171 to his BA and OBP, he's got .245 BA and .338 OBP. I could live with that. And, again, if he starts hitting HRs in his regular clip, those will also increase and BABIP does not reflect this

Game temperature is a huge thing and it has been pretty nasty. And that really effects hitting. Give it till June, before start thinking about his performance ;)

My quick and dirty rule is that if it’s still early enough for a player to have just one monster game (3-4, 2B, HR, BB) and normalize his stats overnight, it’s too damned early to worry about his early season performance.

    • ashburyjohn, Twins33, kab21 and 1 other like this

Deserved BABIP?Some stats are jumping the shark.I'd like to see how this metric is calculated...

    • Han Joelo and Thrylos like this
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nicksaviking
Apr 11 2018 09:59 AM

 

My quick and dirty rule is that if it’s still early enough for a player to have just one monster game (3-4, 2B, HR, BB) and normalize his stats overnight, it’s too damned early to worry about his early season performance.

 

I'm not worried about his performance, mostly because I don't think he's uber essential for this offense.

 

I just want him to do what it takes to keep the defenses honest; it'll be worth the payoff for when his bat does heat up. The bunts don't even have to be entirely successful, the other teams just have to see that he's willing.

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KirbyDome89
Apr 11 2018 10:04 AM

1. Everybody else is hitting in the same weather. 

2. Yes, if he has two weeks in July where he goes 2-27 and strands a horde of baserunners people are going to gripe. 

3. Yes, 9 games is too soon to panic, but he's been historically inept to start the year so some concern is warranted. 

    • bighat likes this
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Brock Beauchamp
Apr 11 2018 10:06 AM

 

I'm not worried about his performance, mostly because I don't think he's uber essential for this offense.

 

I just want him to do what it takes to keep the defenses honest; it'll be worth the payoff for when his bat does heat up. The bunts don't even have to be entirely successful, the other teams just have to see that he's willing.

Oh, I totally agree on the bunting. Just pointing out that whether or not he's mashing the ball on April 10th doesn't tell us much about his future performance.

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Brock Beauchamp
Apr 11 2018 10:10 AM

 

Deserved BABIP?Some stats are jumping the shark.I'd like to see how this metric is calculated...

Actually, I think this stat can have real legs if implemented correctly. We now have exit velocity, launch angle, hang time, and a myriad of stats that can give us a pretty good indication whether a player's contact should reach a glove or grass.

 

That's a lot more telling (obviously, SSSS abounds right now) than eyeballing "well, he had a .287 BABIP last season..." and trying to determine if he's over or underperforming based solely on what he did in previous seasons.

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Brock Beauchamp
Apr 11 2018 10:17 AM

 

1. Everybody else is hitting in the same weather.

I find it curious that so many Minnesotans are shrugging off the fact that cold weather bothers some people more than others. Maybe it's because we're used to it but surely we all have those friends who absolutely diiiiieeeee whenever it drops below 20 degrees.

 

This past winter, I was at the cabin splitting wood in -16 degree weather (not wind chill, straight up -16) and was pretty okay for about an hour or so... some of my friends would have been unable to function at that temperature.

 

Some people can shrug off the cold (obviously, Verlander is one of those guys), some guys can't (it appears Odorizzi and Kuechel have more problems with it). And if there's a crazy-stupid variable out there that could easily be impacting several players' performances on the field, I don't know why it should be dismissed out of hand.

    • Twins33, gagu and Doctor Wu like this

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